Street Update #191

September 1, 2020

This has surely been a strange summer, if we can even tell the seasons apart anymore. Luckily for us, street artists have been busy in spite of the ongoing pandemic, one that continues to cancel art events for the year. We're more than happy to see murals pop up everywhere like everything is normal, and we are also thrilled that we are able to survey them as part of our monthly Street Update. For more updates from the street, be sure to follow Widewalls on Instagram! In the meantime, here's what's happened around the world in August 2020.

Sobekcis in Belgrade

Sobekcis, or as some call them "The Os Gemeos of the Balkans," are twin brothers from Serbia who have been working as graffiti and fine artists since 2015. Their latest wall, painted on a wall of the Belgrade horse race track, seems to be quite abstract compared to what we are used to seeing - cartoon-inspired graffiti. We can't wait to see more!

Li-Hill in London

Among the jazz bars, cafes and food outlets of the culturally rich Gillett Square in East London now lies a mesmerizing mural titled Gestures of a Square. Painted by Li-Hill, a Canadian visual artist whose works explores industrialization, scientific breakthrough, man versus nature and information saturation, the work celebrates the diverse communities living in the area. With it, the artist asks: What are the power structures inherent in the visual dynamic of representation in London, more specifically in Dalston and more broadly in the street art movement?

David de la Mano in Montevideo

We love seeing David de la Mano in action. Although the Spanish artist usually paints slim, ghost-line, all-black human figures often accompanied by naked branches, what we see here is the word "FRAGIL" painted so that its reflection in the water underneath mirrors it perfectly. The work was painted in the Buceo neighborhood of the Uruguayan capital of Montevideo, along with another similar piece which seems to have been painted on a beach.

Telmo Miel in Boulogne

As I write this, Telmo & Miel have probably already painted a few more walls in the meantime. I have probably never come across a more busy street artist duo than these Dutch boys, and each wall they paint is more exciting than the previous. In this one, titled Gardien de Crécerelle, we see the Kestrels, birds of prey that are considered an endangered species in the Boulogne area. The artists were asked by the city to address the issue, and so they painted a woman with four arms, two folded as to evoke indifference, and two used too support the Kestrels in their fragile state.

Fintan Magee in Ipswich, QLD

What else do we love about street artists? When they experiment with technique and style! Take for instance Fintan Magee and his latest wall in Queensland, Australia, titled Two Figures Behind Glass. It depicts two railway workers behind beveled glass so well that it's hard to think this is not a photograph. Magee comments that the Arctic glass pattern we see here was common in middle-class Queensland homes in the 1960s. The murals pays homage to working-class Australians and essential workers on the frontlines of the Covid-19 pandemic.

NEVERCREW in Lugano

Close up is among the latest walls painted by NEVERCREW, this time in their homeland of Switzerland. As part of the Arte Urbana Lugano under the City of Lugano, the Swiss duo created a mural focused on balance. Commenting on the work, the artist say: "This work wants to evoke at the same time an estrangement and a focus on a little part of the balance in which we’re all involved. A perceptual estrangement from the overall balance, from the awareness of each one’s role in it, but also a physical distortion and a forcing that comes from human attitudes and actions. A balanced structure that’s apparently decontextualized and simultaneously heavily connected with the context, and that in relation with the context highlights its fragility when proportions are no longer how they should be. A small part taken from the whole that surrounds us and affects us all."

Pijanistq in Skopje

Commemorating what was one a park dedicated to friendship in the North Macedonian capital of Skopje is this new mural titled People Matter. The mural, painted by Serbian artist known as Pijanistq, sees four people who are helping each other out by creating a joint artwork.

INTI in Aalborg

The 6th edition of the Out in the Open mural project by KIRK Gallery kicked off this summer with TAIÑ MAPU / Our Land, the latest mural by Chilean artist INTI. With the artwork, he wanted to refer to the relationship between Denmark and Chile and how both countries are focused on environmental issues and the work on preservation of nature. "“Maintaining a close and caring relationship to nature like a mother holding it in her arms."

Jessie and Katey in Boone, NC

Here's something entirely new in our monthly Street Update! Artists Jessie Unterhalter and Katey Truhn are a Baltimore based artist duo who like to create vibrant art in for of murals, fine art and sculpture. Outside the Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina, they painted these stairs in their signature vivid graphic style. What a way to embellish a walk up the stairs!

Pref in London

If you're into that blend of typography and graffiti, then the art of Pref is just for you. The British artist with over 20 years of experience has been the master of cleverly painted, aesthetically pleasing phrases that do not seem to be phrases at first sight. Here we see a red structure against a black background, but upon a closer look, we discover that it is actually the words "Top Time" written on there.

Featured images: Artworks by NEVERCREW, INTI and Telmo Miel. Courtesy the artists.

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